I recently got into a bit of a debate with an online friend of mine who chose to formula feed both of her children. While I think she is an excellent mother, I simply cannot come to terms with the fact that she didn't even give breastfeeding a chance. I know it's none of my business and I chose not to let it escalate (it's too late anyway, so no point in trying to change her mind). She linked me to an article that makes a case against breastfeeding which is honestly the most ridiculous thing I have ever read in my life. I promise, I went into it with an open mind. I am somewhat of a believer in conspiracy theories so I'm always open to something that will challenge what I have been told. Well, it's a piece of junk, full of lies and exaggerations as well as ridiculous sarcasm and assumptions. Anyhow, go ahead and read it if you like, I'm thinking of writing a detailed review on it, but it's gonna take me a while since I don't want to point fingers at the lies without facts to back myself up.
So while i was reading that article that attempted to negate all of the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding, I started thinking about the most important reasons I breastfeed my babies. There are dozens of benefits but I can honestly say that the tiny possible decrease in the likelihood of them getting diabetes is not on the top of my list. It's an added bonus but it's not the main reason I do it.
Here are my top 3 reasons I breastfeed.
1. The bonding. Even if my breasts produced Similac, I would still choose nursing over bottle feeding because nothing beats that constant skin-to-skin contact. Sure, it would be nice to alternate night feedings with my husband but I adore the fact that I am the one who feeds my babies (most of time time. I do let others feed her pumped milk on occasion). Maybe it's selfish, but I like the fact that my baby relies on me to stay alive. I like being her #1 supporter. I also love that time when, even if there are a million crazy things going on around us, I sit down with my little girl, stare into her eyes and we bond. She has recently taken to holding my hand while she nurses and I freakin love it! No, I do not feel guilty that my son doesn't get an equivalent because he got it, for 17 months, and he now gets a different type of quality time. He has no interest in holding my hand and staring into my eyes 8 times a day.
2. It's natural. I know all to well that the day will come when I'm busy enough to justify feeding Angelina a Happy Meal or hot dogs for lunch. My son eats that crap way too often. Until she is old enough to ask for an Oreo or scarf down a burger I plan to keep her on an all natural diet. I will make my own baby food (mostly organic). So why would I give her synthetic, chemical-laden, laboratory derived formula? Ok, I'm making it sound worse than it is, it's really not all that bad and certainly better than McDonalds, but since I'm able to produce enough mama's milk for her, I can't imagine choosing to give her something man made. Sort of like how I buy GMO tomatoes if that's all they have, but if there are organic tomatoes and especially if they were cheaper than the GMO ones, I would pick those. Common sense, right?
3. It's easy. Formula is a huge pain in the butt. Huge. You have to go to the store and buy it, find somewhere in your house to store it, mix bottles in the middle of the night when you're so tired you can barely see, and then wash said bottles. Big pain. This way I just whip out a boob, feed, and I'm done. Easy peasy. I also have more than enough things to fill my diaper bag with, I can't imagine adding bottles, bottled water and formula to the mix. I'll pass, thanks.